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tv   [untitled]    August 10, 2014 8:30am-9:01am PDT

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jonathan [inaudible] and work at the [inaudible] law firm and hopefully you have in front of you this evening we submitted a letter to you on comment about the proposed regulation and wanted to bring to your attention before a decision or action is taken. i would specifically like to speak to the issue regarding the actual way that lobbyist fundraising activity would be reported. right now the recommendation by staff and the proposed regulation states that there should be an itemization of each contributor of over 100 that is given as a result of the lobbyist's fundraising appeal. we suggest that the approach be taken that -- that's not the approach taken but the [inaudible] standard used and
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instead of listing each individual contributor the date is given so if you do a fundraising event and responsible for 10 people contributing $500 the event shows $5,000 from the lobbyist to the specific candidate. we believe should should be done and effectuates the policy and not over burden the requirements. the real intent of the law is ensure that the public is aware of any possible undue influence that occurs between a lobbyist and an office holder or candidate and that will be clearly shown on a report that shows total sum of money -- maybe more helpful to have the total sum than what each contractor gave and in addition the report will show. >>
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>> what they gave over $100 and which contributor giving to which candidate is shown and [inaudible] on a lobbyist. a lobbyist will have to know each and every person that contributed on their behalf which is a hard standard to go by and probably discussed later. they will have to get the addresses and the amounts of each contributor and the campaign will say one thing and the lobbyist report will say something different of the last thing it might unnecessarily or unwillingly tie a contributor to a lobbyist and disclosed on that report with simply getting an email from a lobbyist based on the broad standard which this is
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disclosable so we hope you adopt the san diego approach and they will have one large number saying which lobbyist and which candidate. thank you. >> thank you. >> good evening. commissioners. jim sutton with the sutton law firm and also have a different comment about the proposed regulation regarding the disclosure of fundraising by lobbyists. we too commend the staff by confronting vague and ambiguous provegzs of the law and doing a yeoman's job on coming up with guidelines on of lobbyists we present that struggled with these forms on a monthly basis but we have a concern with the regulation that would dramatically change that the way
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. >> >> lobbyists disclose and the proposed regulation comes up with a entirely new legal standard. does know or have reason to know standard which in los angeles is used in some laws but not used in san francisco laws and we have concern that the new standard is really much more unworkable and really vaguer than even the current law although we agree that the current law on what fundraising activities lobbyists have to disclose is in need of clarification so i like to use this example why it's unworkable to expect lobbyists to disclose contributions which they have reason to know or made because of their fundraising efforts. i like all of you will get invitations from elected
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officials and candidates to go to events so for instance the supervisor in my district who i have given a contribution to before chances are i will do that again this year when they're running. because i have given before, because i have gotten to know him i might get a phone call from that supervisor asking for a supervisor and my neighbor might have a house party and they get invited to those but i get an invitation from a lobbyist to go to an event they're cohosting or in their office. when i go online and make a contribution to the supervisor because i got that invitation from the lobbyist they have to put my name, address on the report saying that's why i gave when that may not be the case. did i give because i gave before? did i
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give because my neighbors invited me or because the candidate called me? and the vague and reason to know standard i could go on and on with the various scenarios where it's not appropriate and we apologize for the last nature of the letter but the staff memo that came out last week changed the proposal. again we urge as the prior speaker said the san diego approach. san diego did a very thoughtful lengthy analysis of this issue of fundraising disclosure and decided it was only appropriate to require a lobbyist to disclose contributions they fund raise they took credit for the candidate, if the candidate knew they raised the money. if the candidate doesn't know they raised the money there is no policy reason to disclose that. >> times up. >> okay. thank you.
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>> good evening commissioners. i am ryan patterson and a land use attorney in the city. am taking the opportunity to introduce to you the san francisco permit professionals association in the city. this is a new organization that has been formed following the passage of the recent changes in the lobbying ordinance dealing with permit consulting services. we consist of land use attorneys, permit expeditors, architects, code consultants, other design professionals and we have come together to in part interface with this body to help you with implementing these new laws to help with designing new rules as part of this process, and i want to thank staff for
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their outreach so far and we look forward to working with you in the future. thank you very much. >> commissioners. there's an old expression marry in haste, repent in leisure and i think we have that here in the case of a complicated law. many of you have mentioned it and all of a sudden it seems a rush to get this done even though most of you i think have admitted you aren't fully conversant with all that is in here. now, i don't see any reason why there is this immediate need to pass this thing when you yourselves as commissioner keane mentioned will ultimately have to deal with the out fall when you realize there are things that
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weren't covered, or should have been covered going forward. now the second thing i would like to say number one this memo from the sutton law firm shouldn't be considered in this discussion. the sunshine ordinance rieshes anything that is going to included in the discussions or . >> >> deliberations had to be in today and it wasn't in there and i reviewed it online and wasn't on line and as a result it's illegal to have it introduced here when members of the public had no opportunity to look at it consider whether or not they want to attend this meeting and what's what the ordinance requires that everything considered is available so that a person of reasonable intelligence can decide whether they should attend the meeting and if so what they have to say so including this at the last
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minute is a violation of the sunshine ordinance and of the brown act and as a result shouldn't be included. now, the other thing i would like to mention sort of irrespective of this we're talking about lobbyists meeting in private with employees of the city and we can have discussions about levels and all this other stuff. why are they having private meetings anyway? why don't they submit a memorandum to explain the ideas so members of the public can put a request in to see what they're arguing and see what is a counter argument? i don't see why there is a reason for private conferences. citizens don't get private conferences with these folks. why should the lobbyists firms gets them? i know they want it because they make money on t if
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they convince somebody to buy a contract or do what they want they come out ahead but where does the public come out? they don't know what is being discussed by whom, when? and many of the employees will make recommendations to the senior officials we're talking about in the ordinance which they will do what you do with staff which is rely on it without looking further and as a result the ultimate outcome is the lobbyist has an influence over these people that are covered by the ordinance whether it was intended or not. >> thank you. >> good evening commissioners. please excuse my voice. i have a cold and i can't read as quickly as i would like so please bear with me. number one, determining the number of contacts. based on prior rules when the contact test was used
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to determine a lobbyist under state law it would be less burdensome and easier to administer san francisco's law if the determination of number of contacts needed to qualify as a lobbyist was based on the number of officers contacted and not the number of issues discussed with the city offices. it appears excess itch base the number of contacts. >> >> and the number of individuals in that meeting. staff pointed out that regulation is imcompatible but this is with the reporting requirement. this shouldn't have any impact on the online reporting system. once a individual qualifies as a lobbyist they are required to disclose each matter with the city office to the practice of law regulation. i recommend
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adding a third example to clarify the practicing law involves more than litigation. the only example in the proposed regulation of a communication by an attorney that doesn't result in a contact is in the context of litigation. it would be extremely helpful to the community if a non litigation example was provided. for example, you have an attorney represents a developer who plans to build a housing complex in the city. before the developer can obtain the permits from the planning commission the developer must comply with the legal requirements imposed by ceqa and provides advice to the developer how to comply with the requirements. the attorney and the developer must meet with the executive director of the planning department for the purpose of discussing the various legal requirements imposed by ceqa and the developer's progress and compliance thereof. neither one
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attempts to influence the executive director. the attorneys not made a contact. three, contributions disclosure. this will create a burden on lobbyists that have to track all of their fundraising activities and determine if the checks were written as a result of that and simply requesting that a person make a contribution, invite them to a fundraiser, provide names, pay for 20% of the cost or conduct a fundraiser the lobbyist is required to report all contributions for the foregoing and permit consulting services. this term is meant to mean any contact with the department of building inspection and the planning department or public works to help a applicant obtain a permit. this is broadly defined it could be apply to an attorney
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who is part of the legal services assist a client in obtaining a permit. a regulation could be added that this does not include contacts made by a licensed california attorney engaged solely in the practice of law. thank you. >> thank you. >> david pilpel again speaking as an individual. first i want to commend staff for the good work on this and encourage you to adopt the regs either as whole or as amended. the law took effect in the last few days and there are no implementing regulations. adopting them tonight would go into effect in 60 days unless the board of supervisors intervenes. these are very good, high quality, excellent but there may be things that need to be fixed. you have the ability to change regulations in the future but i think adopting them tonight is a good first step in amending the
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law. to address a couple of points. i don't disagree with having further clarification about the practice of law regulation. although i think in general this is pretty clear. i did want to speak about regulation 2.1 00-04 and the contributions. on page seven you might choose -- i am not recommending it but might choose to strike the words "reason to know" so that the lobbyists knows as a result of fundraising activity. that would clarify concerns about that but either way i wanted to speak on page eight example three at the top there, line five. i would reword that to say the lobbyist must disclose $5,000 in
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contributions collected at the event and add a new sentence. "if the candidates campaign informs the lobbyists of the five other contributions then the lobbyists must disclose those contributions as well." the intent there is that again it's not -- has reason to know but if the lobbyists actually knows that the contributions were made as a result of the fundraising activity they should disclose and i disagree with the prior public comment about aggregating the contributions made. the law clearly states for each contribution certain information is required to be disclosed by the lobbyist. in general i support this. i think staff has done a great job. i can answer any questions and otherwise i support the motion before you and included. >> >> the motion is the other regulations. i assume that is
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captured. thanks. >> any other public comments? addressing one of the reasons why we are asked to adopt these regulations now is that the new statute has gone into effect and the reporting clarifications. >> >> they need clarification for the lobbyists and the community with the understanding that if a implementation -- the staff and we decide amendments are needed at a later date but on the face they provide guidance for the implementation of the statute.
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no comments? take a vote on the adopting the regulations, the draft regulations as proposed. all those in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? all right. the regulations are adopted unanimously and the staff will put them in final form for implementation as i understand it what is it? 60 days? >> [inaudible] >> go before the supervisors. right. item number six the agenda is -- discussion and possible action on the minutes of the commission's meeting of june 23, u 2014. >> >> commissioner keane.
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>> yes. mr. chair, i don't have any specific comment in regard to the minutes. i just want to explain and apologize for my absence lasted time. it is an unexcused absence and should remain an unexcused absence because of my own kind of -- not negligence, but i thought when i came on the commission for some reason i had in my mind all of our meetings were on the last monday of the month and they had been until last month when we had five mondays and then i learned to my horror the day after the fourth monday that our meetings are not on the last monday of the month but the fourth monday of the month. i wanted to be here. i
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was looking forward to be here. i apologize for having saddled you with one of the main agenda items that was put on for me for questions to pontificate about and i wasn't here and you had to labor through it but i watched the proceedings and wished i had been here and again i apologize for my absence. it won't happen again. >> [inaudible] >> thank you very much. someone want to move the adoption of the minutes. >> so moved. >> all right. second? >> second. >> all right. all those in favor? >> public comment. >> oh public comment. i'm sorry. yes. >> commissioners. hold on to your hats i'm going to pay you
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a complement. these minutes are an improvement over what they have traditional been. there are three or four lines of everyone that spoke. typically in the past they spoke about a vague comment so i appreciate the fact that the effort has been made to include the public and their comments in the minutes. you notice there are a number of my 150 word summaries and something i have been fighting for for six years and after attending library commission meetings over the years i found that the comments i made which were negative or critical of their operation were edited out, and sometimeses the comments that i made were actually changed to the opposite of what i said. one in particular was so bad i said -- i understand why you put this in here. you want people to read
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it and think i'm a blighterring idiot because it doesn't make sense. with that being said the minutes are the official record of any meeting and it's unfortunate in my experience with the boards and commissions in the city they desire to keep certain things out of the official record so later they have deniability that no one raised the issue before them and mr. james chafey spent years going to the library commission requesting the financial dealings of the friends of the library and i told you this numerous time and expended $60 million in the name of the library but neither the librarian or the commission members or the commissioners have an idea of where the money
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went. they accepted blindly whatever was told to them by the friends and mr. her era spent two years violating records and the sunshine ordinance multiple times and also prima facie cases he violated the californias public records act and he made no effort to see where the money was going. to hide the fact he was coming to meetings and lying to the library commission and the public about the fact that everything was on track and had no idea if it was. he wanted to hide the idea he was taking thousands from this group every year, lying about it and denying on it [inaudible] he got nothing and in turn looking the other way. i call it the you don't tell and we won't ask it policy about where the money went and in the minutes was the official
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-- please, you let mr. sutton go on beyond his. i appreciate you not kicking me at three minutes you. >> were telling me to cut him off. >> i was. but you didn't, did you? >> if pilpel is speaking as an individual i provided staff to correction to the minutes non substantive and i am not sure if under the office of the city attorney josh wanted to be josh or joshua and they're non substannive and hopefully you will consider them. thanks. >> all those in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? minutes will be adopted. discussion of the executive director's report. >> i don't have any highlights today. we are in a new fiscal
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year obviously so the report reflects that, and if you didn't get my message earlier i just wanted to point out that today the court of appeal 1st district published its opinion in the lawsuit and found unanimously in favor of the ethics commission. >> jack, you submitted a budget for 4.7 and came out of the mayor's office with 4.5 and across the board of supervisors you got -- [inaudible] >> yes. >> which leaves delta about 132k and i was wondering what were those expenditures and what adjustments did you need to make? >> well, last year we received a more sizable add back with the idea at the time we were going
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to hire a third investigator with that money, but there was no guarantee at any point that i could get that the funding would continue and i was reluktant to hire someone in the middle a fiscal year that would have worked for six months and a job with a steep learning curve and have to let them go and in fact that happened because the funding wasn't continued. some of the money that we had anticipated to use for the position wasn't used last year. >> public comment? >> commissioners, i promised at the last meeting as this comes up every meeting i'm going to be talking about different area. i would like to talk about area
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two, investigation and enforcement reports and says at the bottom sunshine ordinance number of complaints and with that is the extent of the sunshine ordinance. look on your website. part of your responsibility is enforcing the sunshine ordinance and every time the sunshine task force refers a complaint you sit here and kib etz and talk about the fact this isn't clear and this isn't clear so when are you going to do something about it? >> we just did. >> with all due respect commissioner keane this discussion has been going on for five years, the discussion on who is gets included on the complaint. i did that and i had the task force take that off. the reason is they went through two years of discussion and we're the ethics commission and according to the sunshine ordinance the only people we can
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discipline are elected heads and officials and so if you have a complaint against a line employee your response from the staff is we can't do anything, so these things go back and forth and you know. you can say the task force knows what it's doing but every single time the task force sends awe recommendation you find or the staff finds a reason to find fault and if you think it's at fault and you acknowledge the fact that part of the responsibilities as a body is the enforcement of the sunshine ordinance then i would think that there would be a moral imperative to do something to get together with the task force and come down with something meaningful where you can do something instead of these pointless arguments whether they charge the right person or
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crossed the right t or .ed the i and the issue is let them go to public meetings and let them speak and i went to the police commission and told by the the president you're not allowed to talk about certain things. i was told the same thing by the president of the arts commission. and the library commission and they all knew it wasn't true but they did it anyway. why? because they got away with it because they knew it would go to the task force and for some reason you want people to believe that the sunshine ordinance task force is a group that doesn't know what they're doing and you're more clever than they are because you can find a way there is something they did in some way that made it wrong and you're unwilling to do anything to correct the situation and there's never anything on this


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